When was the last time you prayed for someone? When was the last time you interceded for others?
After a week of Prayer and Fasting in the church, I realized that I needed to start interceding for others more. Not that I don’t but there is a burden in my heart to pray unceasingly not only for personal concerns but also for the needs of other people.
Our prayers are not limited to our friends and family but let us also consider praying for our government leaders and our nation. We are a few months away from putting to office new leaders of the land, we plead God that He would give us wisdom in choosing the leader that will work not for the applause of man but for the audience of ONE.
The Bible talks about prayer all the time and here are a few verses that might encourage your start praying for others:
Look to the LORD and his strength: seek His face always 1 Chronicles 16:11
Answer me when I call to you my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1
The Lord is near to all who call on Him; to all who call on Him in truth Psalm 145:18
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
We see examples of Bible characters in both the Old and New Testament who interceded or pleaded to God in behalf of others. These people saw the need for God’s mercy, His strength and His power to work in the lives of individuals and/or nations.
Abraham, pleaded with God not to destroy the city of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of his nephew Lot and his family. Moses who questioned his appointment as leader of the Israelites, stood between God and the disobedient brethren.
Paul, in all his letters to the different churches not only asked to be prayed for but likewise prayed for all his brothers and sisters in the faith. He never neglected his duty of lifting up prayers to the Lord. He empathized with them and knew that they needed encouragement, wisdom, strength and grow in their faith.
Jesus, who is the only mediator between God and mankind, pleaded to God the Father while He was dying on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) His pain did not stop him from putting others’ needs first before his.
Jesus also taught his disciples how to pray. He reminded his disciples that prayer shouldn’t be about them but about God.
He taught us that when we pray, we acknowledge who God is. That he is the God of heaven and of the earth. That His will and purpose supercedes that of ours. In prayer, we humbly admit our sin. We ask Him to open our eyes so we could see the wrong in us and ask for his mercy. In prayer, we ask God what we need. We seek his favor, his strength, his provision, his healing, his power to work in our lives. In prayer, we thank him not only for the undeserved blessings but also for the pain because without the pain we wouldn’t be coming to Him at all.
Prayer does not have to be all that complicated as Jesus modeled to his disciples. Prayer is conversing with God and pouring our hearts to Him. Praying for others is laying their petitions before the Lord and waiting for the Lord to respond according to His will for the people you are praying for.
When we pray for others, we see first hand how God moves in the lives of other people. We rejoice when the Lord says YES. We sigh and hope for God’s best when God says NO. We also wait in joyful expectation when the Lord says WAIT.
As part of my desire to Persevere more this year, I also intend to persevere in praying for others too…others include you my dear readers. I’ll be devoting Mondays to receive prayers from you. You can send me a message on my Facebook page or email me at [email protected] Rest assured that your prayer requests are held in strict confidentiality.
Let me leave you with this reminder from 1 Timothy 2:1-2 which says:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.